We just arrived home after 2 days of driving from Ontario and there is no place I would rather be than “down Stage.” But first I must explain what and where this place is.
This place in the cove is what used to be a fishing shack that my Dad used in his years as a fisherman. We call it a fishing stage in Newfoundland and we all refer to it as “down Stage.” A fishing stage is located at the water’s edge and consists of a wharf for their boats and a shed like place with tables for processing fish. It holds all their necessary equipment such as nets as well.
Dad built his stage in 1967, a year after he was married and started fishing on his own. Prior to marriage, he would fish with his father. Once you were married, you were on your own to provide for your family. This stage was built from something a little more than rough lumber, it has a little more history than that. My grandfather on my mom’s side had horses. He had an old barn that he didn’t use anymore and it had a lot of wood that would be good to re-purpose. My father and Uncle Cluney tore down the barn and brought it to Jim’s Cove to start the building of Dad’s very own fishing stage. Those boards are still in that stage today.
Although I don’t have a picture of the stage when it was built, I do have one from when Dad was a fisherman and what Jim’s cove looked like before we turned it into a little piece of heaven! Dad’s stage is 2nd from the right.
Jim’s Cove is where I grew up and this cove holds a lot of memories. We would often go across the bay and have a boil up or a cook up on the rocks. A boil up is basically an outdoor picnic on the rocks. You cook your food on an open fire, whether it be lobsters fresh from the ocean or bologna and a can of beans. The kettle was always boiled for a cup of tea. We would go swimming in the ocean and pick gooseberries for a snack. Life was simple! Dad spent a lot of his summers away in Labrador fishing so we didn’t get to go far on vacation but we still enjoyed our time to the fullest. We had a cabin/cottage that we spent our winters at because Dad was home and it was off season for Mom at the local fish plant. When Dad wasn’t in the shed building a boat or mending nets, we were at the cabin.
Some of the best memories of the Stage while growing up was capelin season. My friends and I would sit on the hill waiting for Dad to come around the point with a boatload of capelin. Capelin was a lot of work for the fisherman because you have to sort the males and females. They would have “Capelin Pickers” on the wharf and we would sort them into buckets and they would sell the female ones to the buyers. We stood there in the cold, rain, sun…it didn’t matter because at the end of the week of picking out capelin, we were gonna make on average of $80 bucks, depending on how many buckets you did. We still talk about the days on the wharf and how everyone pulled together as a team to help out the local fisherman.
Dad is no longer fishing and his Stage was just sitting there. It had no use, no purpose anymore but held a lot of memories. If we could record all the memories and lies that were told in that little shack, we would be famous. Dad didn’t want to tear it down as it’s on the water and those places are a rare gem these days. He turned it into a gathering place for family and friends. It is by far the most amazing little place in the world. It’s peaceful, refreshing and my favorite place. Mom can cook up any meal in that Stage and feed an army! Its a place where anyone can drop in for a meal, a beer or just to say hello. You don’t have to be invited and be sure to come hungry. If Mom and Dad are there, you are guaranteed to get a meal of something. The kettle is always on the stove and Mom will never be anywhere without a cookie or some sort of sweets. The bakery/beer store/convenience store is across the cove and its a quick ride in boat for Dad if they run short on anything. Another added bonus, their house is just up the road.
The bright green door is our family gathering place and everyone is always welcome!
Dad did all the renos and made it into a cozy little shack.
The table was built by my grandfather many years ago.
The picture on the wall is of Dad when he was lobster catching
This place heats up in 30 seconds and I love it when the fire is roaring…so cozy!
and you can also stay the night. Laying in bed with the ocean under you is by far the most relaxing thing to do!
Our First supper at The Stage
After we got the car unpacked we headed down for supper. I was so excited because we were having one of my favorites. We usually walk down but someone wanted to ride with Pop.
It was a lovely evening in the cove!
Kids having a little fun!
Nothing beats being home like a feed of Fudge’s homemade chicken, fries and gravy. Off we go to the local restaurant to pick it up!
The happenin’ spot
Skipper is cooking some lobster and I cannot wait to eat it…yummy!
Dad’s boat on a mighty calm evening. That table on the dock is for cleaning codfish that we are gonna catch on the weekend.
Maison couldn’t wait so he started eating
Did someone say “Lobster?”
I think its time to dig in!
What a feed! Lobster, salmon, capelin, chicken, fries, salads…delicious!
I started out with a light supper haha
Kids are catching their supper lol
We had a few visitors and they enjoyed their supper.
It was a beauty of an evening!
It was an amazing evening and the perfect start to our vacation!